Casa Brutale is a conceptually designed minimalist home by OPA (Open Platform for Architecture), merged into a rock face high above the Aegean Sea, Greece. This ground breaking development is waiting to be built by the firm, “a study of aesthetics, structure, function and engineering.” The construction of the home entails simple materials of glass, wood and raw concrete, with an emphasis placed more on the landscape and ocean. Nothing rises above the ground level, with impact being very minimal, a single facade which divides the vertical cliff face. A clear glass swimming pool and an entry staircase is the only part of the home that can be seen on the surface level. Descending the staircase brings you into an open plan scheme with dramatic views of the Aegean Sea through a glass fronted facade set flush into the cliff. The interior living spaces are flooded with natural light from an wall to wall skylight that turns out to be the swimming pool, comprised of reinforced glass, and functions as the only other window within this sensational home.
Awhile back we shared with you another conceptual suspended cliffside home that is located in Australia, in case you missed it, have a look Suspended Cliffside over the Australian Sea: Cliff House.
After descending 50 stairs you reach the entryway, which is also accessible by an elevator. A tall, rotating door comprised of aged wood opens to expansive sea views through the floor-to-ceiling glass facade. The space showcases minimalism at its finest.
A concrete dining table includes concrete benches clad with wood to add warmth. A fireplace behind the bench adds to the drama of this incredible space. There is also a guest room, bathroom and storage room.
A thin steel staircase leads from the kitchen up to the mezzanine level which hosts a private master bedroom retreat. The bed frame is comprised of concrete and wood finishing, and the walls are mirror clad to enhance the play of light and shadows. The views from this level are astounding, with the Aegean Sea soaked up right from the comfort of your bed.
Master bedroom from the mezzanine level.
Perspective of the in-cliff dwelling from the day and night.
Renderings: Courtesy of OPA (Open Platform for Architecture)
Lower Floor Plan.
Upper Floor Plan.
Swimming Pool Level Plan.
Roof Level Plan.
A beautiful summer house, Residence on Syros II was designed by Block722, hosting a family of four and guests to stay at this incredible villa on the island of Syros, Greece. The steep and somewhat intense geography of the land was a dominating factor in the design process. An expansive staircase leads from the top of the hills towards the house, which helps to intensify the experience of the rugged landscape. Entryway to the home is surrounded by the volumetric main areas of the villa, which culminates ultimately to a large opening that welcomes its inhabitants to expansive views of the Aegean Sea. The home is comprised of 2,163 square feet (201 square meters), divided into clean and square volumes for the public areas, living room and kitchen. The private bedroom areas are segregated into a partially buried rectangular volume.
Buried into a slope is a guesthouse, which is defined by a stone wall, seen commonly in local architecture. The main volume features an open floor plan, with a continuous view to the outdoors and cozy living spaces adjacent to a fireplace. Outside, there are two open courtyards protected from the sun, while a central area of the court is open to lounging in the sun and a children’s play area.
Photos: Erieta Attali, Ioanna Roufopoulou
Lycabettus Penthouse is a stunning example of meticulous interior styling, the collaboration between Sotos Mallas and Aaron Ritenourwas of esé studio, located in Athens, Greece. Embracing wood as main design material, the apartment is designed in earthy hues, clean lines and a pleasant and striking atmosphere. Luminous, nature-oriented and artistically crafted, this penthouse is a unique mix of modern and vintage.
Project Description from the Architects:
The aim of the architects was to unite the space and create a holistic and comfortable interior. The architects decided to create a space inspired by the best examples of Japanese style. They used neutral color palette – warm grey walls, oak wooden floor, black to accentuate the fireplace, cement, white lacquer. Little decoration details such as colorful pillows with interesting prints, red clock and red lamp added life into the space. The furniture is a mix of Scandinavian with flea market finds.
The Mirage House is a single level cavernous residence embedded into the hillside covered by an infinity rooftop pool, designed by Kois Associated Architects, located on the Greek island of Tinos. Designed to integrate into the steep sloped rocky terrain that makes up the island’s south-west coastline, the house was conceived as “an invisible oasis hidden from the unsuspected eyes” where residents can enjoy panoramic views overlooking the Aegean Sea. The rimless pool creates a visual effect of water extending to the horizon and merging the dwelling with the seascape. Additional materials are taken directly from the local landscape, so as to match the existing context.
The site offers protection from the prevailing winds and a natural plateau which from the beginning was identified as the optimal location for the residence as it would minimize the impact to the landscape due to excavation. It is a single-level structure and has a surface of 2,131 square feet (198 square meters). The location allows benefiting from wonderful and panoramic views of the landscape and seascape. Our approach to the program was Doric. Only the essential features and programmatic elements to sustain a comfortable stay were incorporated in the design.
Our goal was to integrate the building into the landscape like it was part of it.The living space is covered by a rimless pool that produces a visual effect of the water extending to the horizon, vanishing and merging with the seascape. From a distance especially if viewed from the path of approach, on a higher ground, the only visible feature of the house is the sea like surface of the pool. The water during the day reflects the surroundings and during the night, the star filled night sky. The mirroring pool of water carefully positioned on the landscape evokes memories of the optical phenomenon of the mirage from which the project was named.
The most of the visible construction materials were extracted from the vicinity and were used to make the house disappear into the scenery. Local techniques were also borrowed like the characteristic dry wall construction found in abundance in the island. This technique was implemented with minor modifications; on the side embankment walls in each side of the pool volume. The local materials have a low impact on the environment and they are very efficient as insulating materials. The rear walls are made of retained earth and have layers of vegetation that regulates the temperature and cools the environment through evaporation. The pool acting as roof provides thermal insulation and protection from solar radiation and heat transmittance.
We wanted to make a house fused with its surroundings, an invisible oasis hidden from the unsuspected eyes. The house is acts almost like an observation post as it clings to the rocks and oversees the dramatic cascading landscape. A landscape left almost intact due to the implemented design strategy and the careful selection of materials.
The team decided to bury part of the building in the landscape and then create a large open-air living room in front. These will all be sheltered beneath the rooftop pool, which will act as a huge mirror to help the building camouflage with its surroundings. Dry stone walls will surround sections of the interior and also frame the building’s entrance. These are designed to reference the traditional walls that can be spotted all over the scenic island landscape.
Photos: Courtesy of Kois Associated Architects
Villa Kalos is nestled on the beautiful Greek island of Ithaca, which once lay in ruin and was completely abandoned but has been returned to its former glory as a guest vacation house. The home was discovered by two South African photographers in the surrounding countryside of Lahos. The couple’s mission was to fulfill their dream of creating a home for the design conscious traveler looking to spend their holidays overlooking the peaceful Greek countryside, with the azure waters of the Agean only a few minutes away.With the help of local builders and craftsmen, the beautiful stone building was successfully resurrected and turned into a luxurious, sublimely understated, yet perfectly adorned, boutique villa.
A stylish and secluded villa escaping technology, Villa Kalos sleeps 8 guests, with rates starting at $471 per night, from here.
The property occupies 6,000 square meters, encompassing terraced gardens surrounding the home and almond trees and olive groves dotting the nearby countryside. There is a salt water pool that overlooks the stunning island vistas. The interiors showcase perfection for a Greek island villa – cement floors, stone walls, polished concrete benches, limed timber beams, fine muslin drapes on the windows and layers of linen.
Photos: Robert Koene
Villa 191 is a private single family residence designed by ISV Architects, located in Voula, Athens, Greece up on the hill, in a site with extremely steep terrain. The access from the street is at the site’s highest point, which provides with a limitless view to the sea. The pitch of the site, as well as the view, have both been the main factors to determine the design choices made. Because of its steepness/gradient, the house is barely visible from the street.
The access point is at the third and highest level of the building, from where the user descends to the middle level with all the living spaces. The linear organization of the plan, with the rooms laid out successively and perpendicularly to the court, has allowed for unobstructed views from all spaces.
At the highest level, except from the main entrance, one finds the bedrooms of the family which all have access to roof terrace. The middle level includes the dining room, the living room and the kitchen. They linearly spread out either into the great balcony to the front or to an outdoor space with the element of water at the side. At the lower level the guest rooms and play rooms can also function as a separate apartment with the panoramic view always remaining unobstructed.
The exterior of the building express the linearity of the functional organization and the view-oriented design of the spaces. Therefore, the shape is characterized by a fold with horizontal elements which start from the pool at the living room level and unravel until they meet the bedrooms floor, at the top. The prominent volumes allow for the house and the steep terrain to blend in harmony.
The materials chosen enhance the noble appearance of these volumes. The retaining walls are made of exposed concrete and they juxtapose other building elements which are white plaster finish. Inside, wood is used as the main floor surface and white finish on all walls.
Photos: Anargyros Mougiakos, Giannis Kontos
Eagle’s Nest is a striking Mediterranean summer house that was completed in 2010, designed by Sinas Architects, situated on Serifos Island, Greece. Serifos perhaps, is one of the last Cycladic islands that has only recently started to develop. Some call it “wild and inhospitable.” For the few faithful who visit it consistently, this “roughness” is the key element that made them fall in love with it.
On the south side of Serifos, near the lovely beach of Kalo Ampeli is an area known as “Chomatovouni”. Here steep slopes, cliffs and rock formations dominate the scenery. Within this seemingly inhospitable landscape only the eagle could build its nest.
The house has a total size of 2,152 square feet (200 square meters) and is spread over three levels. The main house, with three dormitories, is located at the lower level. The house is accessed through the backside, through a staircase that seems to cut through the building, to lead visitors to the main terrace, a balcony with unobstructed views of the sea, the bay of Kalo Ampeli and the picturesque island Garbis. Another terrace has been created that adjoins with the kitchen on the west side of the building.
The main guest house has been placed on the top of the main house. It includes its own bathroom, kitchen and fireplace. This way the guest has complete privacy and access to the view.
Finally, a small cell like building, the “keli”, also a guesthouse, is positioned completely independently at the highest level of the complex.
The peculiar shape of the house serves two needs: on the one hand it creates multiple terraces protected from the sun and the winds of the Aegean and the on the other it breaks the volume of the building into individual smaller and irregular ones. The basic building material is stone that came entirely from the excavations. Stone in combination with the color of mortar achieves a color corresponding to the landscape. Thus the building is fully and naturally integrated in its surroundings.
Outside, the house combines all the structural elements of the island such as stone, ground, the reeds, wood with its natural colors, creating a traditional atmosphere. Internally cool white was selected as the dominant color and a modern aesthetic. The floors, all of which are smooth industrial, invite you to walk barefoot and forget the need for shoes.
One week of isolation in this house will certainly function as the lotus to the crew of Ulysses and make you forget all your ties with the city and need to return to civilization!
Photos: Nikos Stefanis
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